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7 Benefits and Side Effects of Avocado (4 Contraindications To Be Noted)

Avocado is an important tropical fruit native to Central America and Mexico, also known as avocado and avocado (because of its pear-shaped, green, uneven skin, like crocodiles), according to archaeological evidence, avocado began to be eaten by humans about 7000,<> years ago, and has been cultivated in all tropical and subtropical regions to this day.

Unlike other fruits, avocados contain very low sugar content, containing only about 0.2 grams of sugar per half.

In addition, avocados are highly nutritious, rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, lutein, phenolic antioxidants and dietary fiber, as well as a high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids (60.28% oleic acid, similar to virgin olive oil), known as superfoods, rich in taste and texture, often added to various dishes or made into avocado oil for sale.

Different species of avocados are grown all over the world, varying in shape and color, from pear shape to round and green to black, with the Hass and Fuerte varieties most commonly consumed.

What are the proven benefits of avocados?

1. Good for skin health

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and protects the body from solar radiation, industrial pollution, fossil fuels and carbon emissions… and other effects of environmental stress.

This exposure also makes it very susceptible to premature accelerated aging, as these external injuries cause cumulative damage and lead to changes in cells and structures that affect overall function, internal homeostasis and appearance.

Therefore, it makes sense to understand these changes to identify mechanistic targets that can prevent premature aging and maintain the health and appearance of the skin.

An 8-week randomized controlled trial of 39 women (aged 27-73 years) on the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale Type II-IV noted that daily consumption of avocado may enhance the elasticity and firmness of facial skin in healthy women. Note 1

*Conclusion: Avocado consumption can bring positive benefits to facial skin health

2. Good for intestinal health

Diet is one of the key regulators of gut microbiota composition and can directly affect the microbial balance in the host.

The short-chain fatty acids (such as acetic acid, butyric acid, propionic acid, etc.) produced by intestinal commensal bacteria through dietary fiber have a profound impact on the energy metabolism, hormone production, intestinal epithelial homeostasis, mucosal immunity and virulence regulation of pathogens.

Westernization of the diet, including additives, may reduce the diversity of gut bacteria, leading to dysbiosis, altered barrier function and permeability, abnormal activation of immune cells, leading to a high incidence of chronic diseases.

A randomized controlled trial (12 weeks, 163 adults) found that avocado consumption (also known as avocado or avocado) reduced fecal bile acid concentration, increased fecal fatty acid and short-chain fatty acid content, and increased the relative abundance of fiber-fermenting bacteria, demonstrating that this nutrient-rich food affects digestive physiology, as well as the composition and metabolic function of the gut microbiota. Note 1

3. Improve cardiovascular disease risk factors: blood lipids

Cardiovascular diseases include diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels throughout the body, common such as coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, angina, stroke, etc.

Common cardiovascular symptoms include prolonged compression or burning pain in the center of the chest, pain from the chest to the neck, arms, shoulders or chin, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, chills, sweating, and a weak pulse.

A literature review and meta-analysis (18 studies, 481 participants) suggested that avocado intake improved HDL-cholesterol levels. Note 1

There was no significant improvement in other parameters, such as serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), TC to HDL cholesterol, LDL to HDL cholesterol, and body weight.

*Conclusion: Avocado can only improve HDL cholesterol, but it is limited by the small sample size, which needs to be further verified by more precisely designed long-term large trials

4. Improve macular pigment density and benefit cognitive function

The macula is the central part of the retina that is responsible for fine detail vision. Interestingly, this particular section accumulates large amounts of lutein, zeaxanthin, and racemic zeaxanthin, which are collectively known as macular pigments.

In the retina, these pigments act as intraocular light filters, absorbing short-wavelength “blue” light before reaching the macula and damaging the photoreceptors responsible for central vision, and protecting the central nervous system from oxidative and inflammatory stressors.

A randomized controlled trial (6-month, 40 healthy adults over 60 years of age) showed that avocado intake had a better effect of increasing serum lutein and macular pigment density than chickpea consumption, and that increased macular pigment was associated with improved working memory and processing efficiency. Note 2

*Conclusion: Consuming avocado may help to improve macular pigmentation and lead to better cognitive performance

5. Improve satiety and facilitate weight control

Addressing obesity requires dietary strategies to reduce energy intake, and satiety is an important factor in curbing overeating.

Identifying eating patterns and foods that promote satiety without significantly increasing overall energy intake is important for promoting healthier eating behaviors.

A randomized 3×3 single-blind crossover study of 26 healthy but overweight adults found that adding about half an avocado to a meal increased satiety after eating in the following 3 to 5 hours and reduced the desire to eat between meals. Note 3

Compared to not eating avocados, meals added to avocados can reduce the increase in blood insulin levels 30 minutes after a meal and lower insulin levels up to 3 hours after a meal.

*Conclusion: Meals with avocado may have beneficial effects on weight control by improving satiety and reducing the desire to snack between meals

6. Improve osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative joint disease, occurring in more than 18% of people over the age of 25.

Pathologic changes include progressive loss and destruction of articular cartilage, thickening of subchondral bone, bone spur formation, synovial inflammation, ligament/meniscal degeneration, and capsular hypertrophy.

Osteoarthritis is triggered by many factors, including joint damage, obesity, aging, and genetics.

A meta-analyses (4 randomized controlled studies with 664 patients with osteoarthritis) noted that oral Avocado-soybean unsapononifiables (ASU) helped reduce pain perception, Lequesne’ Index scores, and increase the number of people who responded to treatment. Note 4

*Avocado Soybean Extract Non-Saponifiable is a substance extracted from avocado and soybean oil.

*Conclusion: Oral avocado soybean extract non-saponifiable has a positive effect on improving osteoarthritis, but due to heterogeneity, more empirical confirmation is needed

7. Improve atrophic sclerosing lichen

Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (LSA) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that usually affects the skin around the vulva and anus, characterized by ivory-white patches or patches with shiny surfaces, causing intractable itching, soreness, constipation, dyspareunia and other symptoms.

Women are more affected than men, with a ratio of 10:1, especially during menopause, but younger women or girls may also be affected, with an average age of diagnosis of 7.6 years and 60 years, compared to 9-11 years for men.

A prospective cohort, open-label, non-comparative study (24 weeks, 23 patients with mild to moderate vulvar lichen sclerosus) suggests that avocado soybean extraction of non-saponified topical ointments and oral preparations may be an alternative to topical corticosteroids. Note 5

The mechanism behind it may be related to the anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, emollient, and moisturizing effects of avocado soybean extract non-saponifiable.

*Conclusion: Avocado soybean extract non-saponifiable has a positive effect on the improvement of vulvar atrophic sclerosing lichen, but due to the lack of control group in small samples, more large trials are still needed for further confirmation

Are there any side effects of eating avocado?

Avocado consumption in moderation is safe, and if it is a health preparation (such as avocado-soybean unsaponifiables), there is currently insufficient information to prove the safety of long-term use.

Safety precautions

If you have been allergic to pollen, nuts or latex, please be careful, eating avocados may also cause allergies, and will cause itching in the mouth and throat, skin rash, abdominal pain, vomiting and other food-based sensitization symptoms within 1 hour after consumption. Note 6

Because avocados are rich in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) such as oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, some sensitive people may cause symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, such as abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea

Avocados contain a small amount of tyramine, which can trigger migraines if allergic to this substance. Note 7

Since avocados are rich in vitamin K1, if taking the anticoagulant drug Warfarin (a vitamin K antagonist), please pay special attention to the total intake of vitamin K in food, if you overdose, it may reduce the effectiveness of the drug and cause blood clotting problems

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